The tribal wisdom of the Earth was sealed off, like an insect caught in amber, for 40,000 years, then given to us in the form of Aboriginal Wisdom.
The indigenous Australians have 230 languages and countless dialects, but all of them speak of The Dreaming. The Aboriginal people did not use letters or write books, they did not separate their intellect from the earth or try to dominate their environment, instead they kept oral histories and bloodlines, told stories, danced and created art.
It would be a mistake to think this made their communication less sophisticated, because the indigenous Australians understood certain things modern people continue to have trouble grasping; how to live in balance with nature and how to avoid war.
The Aboriginal language speaks of connection to the earth and all creatures and things upon the earth. Each tribe is descended from the dreamtime and each person has a bloodline and animal totem, which structures their society to ensure continuity of life and land.
Gary Simon Jagamarra is a wisdom holder and a guardian of aboriginal sacred knowledge. In his late teens he began to research his aboriginal background to discover his heritage and identity. His father is believed to be from the Biripi tribe of Northern, New South Wales.
In 1996, a senior elder of the central desert, Rex Granite Japanuka, from Walpiri Tribe, Northern Territory, adopted Gary. He was given the Aboriginal skin name of Jagamarra (Snake Dreaming) and learned all the stories, songs, ceremonies and dances associated with the Walpiri people. Because Gary’s skin group totem is the snake, he is not allowed to eat it.
Gary is a receptacle for the dreamings of his ancestors according to Aboriginal law and his main dreamings are the Rainbow Serpent, Milky Way and Seven Sisters, Goanna Dreaming, Snake Dreaming, Frog Dreaming and Naapa (Water Dreaming).
As an artist, Gary uses acrylics on canvas to tell his stories; aerial depictions following the tradition of his ancestor’s works in the sand and was commissioned by Australia Post to organise 2000 paintings from different central desert artists, which were used on 2000 stamps to coincide with the year 2000 and the Olympic Games.